Category Archives: longsuffering

Romans 4:4

We say the Bible is the inspired Word of God.  We use its 783,000 words to justify and bless court procedures, weddings, funerals and baptisms and blessing our babies.  I would remind you that “Every part of Scripture is God-breathed and useful one way or another—showing us truth, exposing our rebellion, correcting our mistakes, training us to live God’s way.” [II Tim 3:16 MSG.] We have affirmed and lived as if this was true for large portions of our lives.

So when Romans 4:4 appeared in this week’s Sunday School lesson, it was like a floodlight beacon hitting me.  And yes, I do attend Sunday School as often as my schedule allows.   This word provides confirmation to those of us who literally believe that every single word from the Bible is true.

Many have opined for a long while that the economy of the United States benefitted significantly from coerced labor performed by slaves taken from the African Continent. Furthermore, a debt is owed to Africa-descended people for their many years of labor that established the economy of this country. 


Many books have been written pro or con this issue, on the side against reparations, critics have argued that none of the benefactors from slavery are still alive, including the original victims. This argument on its face is absurd. How could the original victims expect or even hope for compensation? Could it have happened during Reconstruction from the “War for Slave Labor” known commonly as the Civil War? Nope! And because over time many other barriers were erected to deny and diminish Black economic progress, the debt has and more importantly, the frustration with the obstruction has become immense.

Kamathi Muirairi of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, History Department, said it better: “From 1619 to 1863, this nation stole 244 years of unpaid and dehumanizing labor from African-Americans. From 1863 to today, this nation has imposed 156 years of largely intentional repression on African-Americans trying to rebuild their communities and prosper. For that, the U.S. not only owes financial reparations, but also a renewed and sincere commitment to extending a fair chance in life to all people. Restitution requires it and the validity of this nation’s founding principle, as defined in the Declaration of Independence, depends on it. Without this reckoning, the American covenant is a farce.”

So when Romans 4:4 says: “If a man works, his pay is not a gift. It is something he has earned”, how can we deny payments to the descendants of slaves who worked to the point of death, danger and dismemberment on these shores working without pay?

This is not to say that citizens should be compelled to reach into their pockets.  This does mandate that the very rich government of the United States should find a way to fulfill this obligation in a way that will begin to level the playing field for the years of oppression already suffered.  Those who declare this is not a racist nation, but one built on Christian principles need to see to it.

I would also add this monumental article for you to contemplate:

More on this important topic to come!!

Live like a King!

We cannot live like a King until we learn the discipline of the Kingdom (sonship)

Galatians 4:1-7 [focused on verses 1-2 and 7] from The Voice
 1 Listen. I am going to explain how this all works: When a minor inherits an estate from his parents, although he is the owner of everything, he is the same as a slave. 2 Until the day set by his father, the minor is subject to the authorities or guardians whom his father put in charge. 3 It is like that with us; there was a time when we were like children held under the elemental powers of this world. 4 When the right time arrived, God sent His Son into this world (born of a woman, subject to the law) 5 to free those who, just like Him,were subject to the law. Ultimately He wanted us all to be adopted as sons and daughters.6 Because you are now part of God’s family, He sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts;and the Spirit calls out, “Abba, Father.” 7 You no longer have to live as a slave because you are a child of God. And since you are His child, God guarantees an inheritance is waiting for you.
A king who is a child cannot rule. He must learn the discipline it takes to rule: diplomacy, justice [law], compassion, obedience, longsuffering, patience, and faith.  Until these lessons are learned, [s]he cannot inherit the rightful place of leadership she was born to. Christ had to learn obedience also and the Bible says he learned obedience by the things he suffered. [Hebrews 5:8]
We have a difficult time inheriting our place in the Kingdom because we have no discipline – we stay up too late, watch too much TV, don’t want to fast, hate missing out on pleasure, have no desire to profit from exercise, fail to read the Word, etc. The book of Proverbs chastises us for being lazy (vs. 19:24 and many more). Yet we remain undisciplined and the will to be more disciplined is absent.
Interestingly, from the book of Job, we find a passage that describes what God wants from us and how he will help move us in this direction. Chapter 36
 5  Look! God has great strength, but He does not detest human beings;  He is mighty indeed, and His          heart swells with understanding.
    He does not preserve the life of the wicked,
        but He grants justice to those who are weak and humble.
    He does not divert His gaze from the righteous;
        He enthrones them with monarchs,
        lifts them up to positions of power forever.
    And if the people are restrained in chains,
        caught in the cords of their misery,
    Then He explains to them their exploits,
        their errors, and how they have lived in arrogance.
10     He uncovers their ears so as to hear His teaching
        and commands them to abandon their sinful path.
11     If they hear and choose to serve Him,
        then they end their days in prosperity and their years in felicity.
12     But if they refuse to listen,  then they will pass over to the land of death by the sword
        and will arrive, lacking any wisdom, at their death.
 vs. 10 in the King James says: “He openeth their ear to  discipline . . . ”    which explains the definition in the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia ” . . .  refers to moral discipline, the strenuous cultivation of the righteous life”  He helps us come to gather the discipline, the hunger and thirst after His word, the need to be in His presence, the realization of how ghastly and desolate life is without Him!
To that end I rejoice in Phillipians 2:13 which reads:  13 [Not in your own strength] for it is God Who is all the while [a]effectually at work in you [energizing and creating in you the power and desire], both to will and to work for His good pleasure and satisfaction and [b]delight.  [Amplified]
He is working to give us the discipline to seek him and to will and work to fulfill His purpose for us!!  Praise Him for His marvelous acts!!
God is so good that he will establish us on thrones [In His throne Rev. 3:21] and the places where we need to learn and do better will He show to us including the iniquities and transgressions we have done.
He has no greater pleasure than to act as our father. Gracious and good yet firm and demanding the best of us. Interested in getting from us our best and being a rewarded of those who want to reach the mark.  More about that later . . . 
Grace and peace!